Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津);
Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Urbanas of the US Department of Energy;
The Honorable Brent Christensen, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Taipei Office;
The Honorable Izumi Hiroyasu, Representative of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association;
The Honorable Gary Cowan, Representative of the Australian Office Taipei;
Ladies and gentlemen:
On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the participants in today’s Global Cooperation and Training Framework workshop on good energy governance.
I would also like to express my appreciation to our cohosts: the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the American Institute in Taiwan, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, and the Australian Office. Our special thanks go to the organizer, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, for making this workshop possible.
I am truly grateful to AIT for cofounding the GCTF in 2015. Since then, we have worked together to cohost 22 international workshops for more than 430 participants from 38 countries. We are delighted that Japan has joined all seven of this year’s workshops, and that Australia is serving as a cohost for the first time. Sweden has also been a cohost this year. We would love to see more like-minded partners take part in this platform’s activities.
The GCTF was founded on the belief that our pressing global challenges can only be overcome through multilateral cooperation. During my childhood, Taiwan was still an aid recipient. You could see children running around in USAid flour bags sewn together as makeshift pants. Fifty years later, Taiwan has emerged as a vibrant democracy and a strong economy. Today, Taiwan wants to help and can help. Through the GCTF, Taiwan has become more engaged with the Indo-Pacific community on a variety of issues, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, public health, and women’s empowerment, to name a few.
The topic of this workshop, good energy governance, is a very important one in the context of a shared vision for a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Taiwan’s policies echo the US Indo-Pacific strategy, and good governance is key to achieving that vision.
Energy consumption in the Indo-Pacific has almost doubled since 2000 and is expected to accelerate. Thus, good energy governance will play a key role in realizing prosperity and sustainability in the region.
Take Taiwan, for example. Taiwan is almost 98 percent dependent on energy imports. To address this challenge, President Tsai Ing-wen announced an energy transition strategy in 2016 with a focus on green energy development. Our government aims to increase renewable energy to 20 percent of our total energy mix by 2025. Just last week, we inaugurated our first commercial offshore wind farm, Formosa 1. As a leader in the field of renewable energy in Asia, Taiwan has already attracted major international companies interested in investing in or conducting business with this sector. Our long-term goal is to expand into the global green energy market.
The path before us is not easy, but to achieve prosperity and sustainable development, ideas must be shared, actions must be taken, and problems must be solved. This common goal has brought us together today.
I am confident that in these three days the participants will gain new perspectives, form effective partnerships, and develop innovative solutions to the many challenges we are facing.
Once again, welcome to Taiwan! May the workshop be a great success! Thank you.